Fifty-five percent of insurance consumers say they would use one or more of a variety of insurance services offered through social media – a number too big to ignore! (Accenture, 2013.) In today’s online world, consumers and business owners go to the internet when considering a purchase of any kind. They usually start with a Google search to learn more about the available alternatives to read user-generated reviews. They often go to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn before making a buying decision. At each stage of the buying cycle, opinions are being formed about the products and agencies being considered.
For us in insurance – an industry built on both products and services – internet reviews and social media play an integral part in credibility. Potential clients, especially millennials, trust advice they find on social media about the best insurance products, agencies, brokers or carriers.
Here are some ways your company can stay up-to-date with a strong online presence that supports an online community:
- Use the internet to facilitate better communication between brokers and customers.
- Stay in-touch with your clients and their important life events. This will help you provide a more personal and relevant online experience for your clients.
- Use the internet to keep your company modern through current marketing campaigns. This helps to build trust and demonstrates credibility.
- Use social media to introduce new ideas and innovative products. Be sure to use mobile applications too.
- Implement a social media customer service plan. “Consumers that have a positive social care experience are nearly three times more likely to recommend a brand to other and nearly 40 percent of companies experience a 10 percent reduction in support costs from implementing social care, with greater customer satisfaction.” (Accenture, 2013.)
- Use social media as a claims management tool. This allows carriers to interact with customers throughout the claims process and helps to accelerate the recovery process.
Click here to view Tips 1 & 2.
3. Build an Editorial Calendar
Use an editorial calendar to stay organized. Put Industry Events, Holidays, Contests, Giveaways, Book Releases, and News Events in it. There are a lot of tools including Google Calendar, Outlook, and paper calendars that you can use. Spreadsheets can be useful too. Be adaptable and flexible.
4. Use Notifications
Give notification a second chance. You need to be on top of interactions and respond in a timely manner. You don’t need to be on social media 24/7. In general, a 24 hour window of time for responses on social media is acceptable.
Bonus Tips: How to Manage Social Media in One Hour Per Day
- Review your Feedly page first thing in the morning while you drink your coffee – 10 minutes
- Conduct a blogging blitz and write, edit and schedule blog posts – 30 minutes
- Execute a neighborhood check-in twice a day – review your social networks and respond to comments, followers, retweets, customer service questions, etc. – 10 minutes
- Perform a community search to build your network (work on different networks each day) – 10 minutes
- Share the workload! Delegate social media tasks to other staff members. Many hands make light work.
Google provides some great tools for insurance agency marketers, most of which are free. Some of these are really well known, while others may come as a surprise to producers and agency marketers. These tools are easy to find on Google (just Google them), though I included a couple of links to help you get started. The Google Tools below are not ranked in any particular order. That said, I think every insurance agency and broker should have Google Analytics loaded on their site, even for those using platforms such as HubSpot.
Google Webmaster Tools offers a plethora of tools for insurance marketers. One recent tool that I’d suggest every agency and broker use is the Google Mobile Friendly Test. This tool is very easy to use, and determines if your insurance agency website is mobile friendly, or if there are any refinements needed even if your website passes the mobile friendly test. For agencies which fail the test, carpe diem, get to work on a mobile responsive website as soon as possible. For those which pass, but receive a list of issues, the test will help them better optimize their websites. My Top 10 list is below, there are many other tools available:
- Google Analytics: An essential website traffic and analysis tool for any agency.
- Google AdWords: Great tool for basic keyword analysis.
- Google Docs: Simple, free and relatively easy to use cloud based document sharing platform.
- Google Insights: Surveys, trends and other insight tools.
- Google My Business (Google Places): For small agencies, especially those selling within their community, Google My Business is a good place to be.
- Google Alerts: Track your agency, market, or any topic of interest with this simple and easy to use tool.
- Google Webmaster Tools: This is a package of valuable technical tools, such as HTML Improvements and Fetch as Google. There are two Webmaster tools which agency marketers should find very helpful, and may be unknown to most agents. They are listed below as #8 and #9.
- Google Mobile Friendly Test: Is your insurance agency website mobile friendly? How does it look on an Android? Are there any mobile related issues with the site? Use this free tool and find out.
- Google Page Speed Insights: All websites can improve their load speed, from compression to coding. This quick tool will yield multiple suggestions to optimize your website speed.
- Google+ Business Page: It’s free, it’s fairly easy to create, it’s owned by Google, and your Google My Business listing will link to this page.
I’d be reticent if I didn’t mention Google’s top insurance marketing tool — YouTube. YouTube, owned by Google since November, 2006, offers agencies a superior platform to share recorded webinars, executive briefings, videos, and whiteboard videos. For example, some of our StartUpSelling videos have been viewed by over 10,000 agencies and brokers, and we’ve received many inbound leads from our insurance marketing YouTube channel.
If your agency would like a complimentary insurance agency website or insurance web marketing review, contact the insurance marketing experts at StartUpSelling.
Social media is here to stay. As a matter of fact, social media will continue to be integrated into our lives, just like the internet itself. Social media will change and evolve as technology improves and people begin to truly comprehend its power.
Keeping up with social media on multiple platforms can be time-consuming and overwhelming. Social media is a noisy place. It takes continuous effort to stay on top of it. Listening and monitoring are two secrets to social media success.
4 Ways to Manage your Social Media
- Make a Plan Base your plan on your business goals. Use goals that are results-based like “We will increase our sales by 30% monthly.” These types of goals reflect your bottomline. It is fine to set social media goals like “We will achieve 500 followers within the next 6 months” but those types of metrics are indirect. Be sure to set direct ROI related goals as well.
Your plan should clearly define your goals, strategies, tactics and measurements.
- Set Up Dashboards Dashboards provide information at a glance by aggregating information in one place. They save time and energy and help prevent information overload. So, what are the dashboards that you need? You need dashboards for RSS and social networks because they present different types of information. Feedly is one way to manage RSS feeds.
How do you get started? When you subscribe to sites, information gets sent directly to you. One great monitoring tool for brand mentions and competitors is Giga Alerts. Use folders and headline view to make it easier. Read what you can and star the rest! Set a timer on yourself.
For social network management and analytics, a SocialReport dashboard is recommended. Link all of your social networks together. Use Tabs and stay organized. Set up Searches, #’s, and lists. Use the scheduling post feature just make sure to change content/verbiage depending on platform. It should not be used for total replacement – the point of social media is being social after all!
Insurance agency owners and producers who believe that social media is a nice to have, instead of a need to have, are clearly missing the boat. Some industry experts estimate that Facebook alone is now responsible for over 25% of all web traffic. And with 40 million active small business pages, Facebook is making significant inroads as the place to be when it comes to reaching small businesses. Facebook offers a robust ad tool to help insurance agencies and brokers reach targeted prospects, including post boosts and Facebook ads. This tool, along with their billion plus users helped Facebook achieve $5 Billion in revenues in Q1. Other notable Facebook stats include:
- Monthly active users are now at 1.65 billion
- Daily active users are 1.09 billion
- 894 million are mobile only users
- Adding 500,000 new users a day
- Over two thirds of all US online adults visit Facebook at least once a month
LinkedIn offers similar opportunities and tools to Facebook, and access to many larger businesses. Though there are fewer users on LinkedIn than Facebook, most users are business centric, offering a compelling B2B opportunity for many commercial agencies and brokers. Like Facebook, LinkedIn offers some robust ad tools for agency owners and marketers. They also offer an attractive publishing platform to share content, and with their premium membership, some direct prospecting opportunities for producers. Some notable LinkedIn stats include:
- Now at 433 million members
- Over 100 million members access the site monthly
- More than 1 million members have published content on LinkedIn
- Over 3 million companies created LinkedIn accounts
- 17% of US small businesses use LinkedIn
Many insurance agencies are just beginning to take advantage of social media platform opportunities. Some may feel they don’t understand it well enough, while others question if their prospects and clients pay attention to these new repositories. But the verdict has been rendered. As Facebook and LinkedIn cumulatively approach two billion users, it’s extremely likely that many, if not most, insurance agency prospects and clients are now engaged in some manner on these platforms. This number increases proportionately with younger (read that as more digital) insurance buyers. Many agencies are now leveraging LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media platforms to increase lead generation and improve client retention. For agencies which have yet to create professional company pages and profiles, consistent posting, and lead gen ad campaigns, the ship is sailing and it’s time to find a way to get on board. Agencies and brokers interested in a complimentary web marketing and lead gen review are invited to contact the insurance marketing experts at StartUpSelling.
Statistics gleaned from a wide variety of Internet sources including Facebook and LinkedIn
Join us for this brief, complimentary webinar and learn how effective mobile websites and social media improve marketing, generate leads and enhance client service. Subject matter experts will explain how insurance agencies leverage mobile and social tools to expand reach, convey value and engage new prospects. These tools also allow agencies to deliver high-level service to existing clients, improving retention rates and cross-sale opportunities. Topics include:
* Mobile vs. Responsive vs. Apps – What Do You Need?
* How Social Media Expands Reach and Enhances Brand/Image
* How Can Agencies Generate Leads with Social Media
* What Social Networks are Most Critical? Why?
Date & Time: Wed, Aug 24, 2016 1:00 PM – 1:20 PM EDT